Economic Development – A Strong Focus in Maryland
This blog was originally posted on the BGE website.
The Maryland Economic Development Association’s Annual Winter Conference recently convened hundreds of stakeholders to discuss Maryland’s future and identify strategies that support the state’s effort to attract, retain and grow its economy. Unified by the theme of “Economic Development Transforms Lives,” leaders such as newly-elected governor Larry Hogan shared thoughts on how to increase Maryland’s competitiveness both regionally and globally. Ideas included strengthening public and private partnerships, developing a business environment that will help attract, retain and grow businesses, advancing education to prepare students for the 21st century workforce, and investing in resources like the Chesapeake Bay to draw new residents to the area.
As Maryland’s largest utility, we are committed to supporting Maryland’s economy and we’re proud that we already actively pursue many of the ideas discussed at the conference. Numerous customers see their utility as simply managers of pipes or wires to deliver energy, but we view our work as also a vital component of Maryland’s prosperity. In fact, we operate in a way that helps businesses choose Maryland as their business location or place to expand their operations – which creates jobs and economic opportunity. This isn’t just talk, either: a 2014 Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore economic impact study showed that BGE generated more than $3.8 billion in output for the state of Maryland through our general operations, energy management programs and charitable contributions.
So why does BGE – or any business – care about boosting the state’s economy? We recognize that we are completely reliant on each other. Without a strong economy, businesses and households find it difficult to meet their needs, be productive and support not only Maryland’s overall well-being, but its ability to grow. This is why our economic development initiatives support chambers of commerce, workforce partnerships and economic development groups like MEDA in their work to increase opportunity and “transform lives.”
It’s clear that Maryland has vast potential as a center for economic opportunity due to its proximity to Washington, D.C. and the 95 corridor, highly-ranked colleges and universities, the Port of Baltimore and many other assets. As ideas on Maryland’s future were shared and debated, it was also noted that every stakeholder – whether a business owner or employee, a legislator or voter – must participate in order for Maryland to take advantage of those assets and succeed.
It is BGE’s commitment to continue working with our partners and customers to help Maryland reach its potential.